Here is a quick post with the news of yesterday’s final order in the WV PSC Harrison power plant case. In the case, FirstEnergy and the parties that joined it in its plan to transfer the plant to WV rate payers, including the WV Consumer Advocate and the Sierra Club, were joined by PSC Chairman Albert and still expired Commissioner McKinney. Mr. Albert and Mr. McKinney represent a majority of the three-member PSC, so the addition of the cost of 80% of the Harrison plant, with a minor adjustment from the transfer of Mon Power’s small percentage of the Pleasants Power Station to Allegheny Energy Supply, has been officially approved.
Commissioner Ryan Palmer joined the WV Citizen Action Group, which objected to the FirstEnergy/Consumer Advocate/Sierra Club deal, with a strong dissent opposing Mr. Albert and Mr. McKinney’s majority order. Mr. Palmer’s dissent was filed separately from the final order and blasted the decision to allow the Harrison transfer. As far as I have been able to determine, Mr. Palmer’s separate dissent is also notable because it is rare for a commissioner to dissent so strongly from an order filed by his fellow commissioners.
I will post a more detailed analysis of the PSC’s order later this morning.
One thing is clear, FirstEnergy, Mr. McKinney, Mr. Albert, the Sierra Club and the WV Consumer Advocate have all ensured that Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers will see their rates rise more than necessary to pay for increased coal-fired generation for WV’s electrical system. By committing WV rate payers to pay for this excess coal-fired generating capacity, these parties have also effectively blocked any momentum toward significantly expanded energy efficiency or renewable power investment in our state for decades to come.